The Sarn Helen Hill Race Festival made a welcome return and its 16.5-mile challenging multi terrain race with 2,500 feet elevation made even the most seasoned runner question their sanity.
However over 40 runners bravely took on the challenge and the winner was Aberystwyth Athletic Club’s Owain Schiavone in a great time of 1.55.36.
Richard Anthony completed the course in a time of 2.15.57 with Louise Barker winning her category in a time of 2.38.08 and Paul Rose finishing in 2.51.50.
Owain has had his share of triumphs recently, but this victory was one to savour: “I have always considered this to be one of the classic local races, but one I’ve slightly feared in the past if I’m honest.
“It has everything from a varied terrain, plenty of elevation and an opportunity to really go for it on some of the downhill stretches.
“We are very fortunate to have such fantastic landscape on our doorstep in Ceredigion and this is a great, albeit quite challenging way to see it in its glory.
“I am also thrilled to get my name on the victory shield especially when you see some of the past winners who are on it – only problem is I will need to come back and defend my title next year now.”
There were also races for the younger ages and three Aber AC youngsters again made their mark.
In the primary race Mari McConochie was the second girl home with Betsan Jones the fourth girl to finish.
In the secondary sector there was a 1.5 mile race and Bethan Rosser was the second girl home in this race.
The Chester Half Marathon is one of the UK’s longest established and most highly regarded half marathons, starting and finishing in the historic medieval city.
Five runners from Aberystwyth made the journey with Neil Gamble leading them home in 1.39.38. Lyndsey Wheeler and Helen Williams both clocked times of 2.40.15.
Helen continues her quest to complete 50 half marathons before her 50th birthday – this was number 29. Lynsey Gamble finished in 2.43.18 and Rachel Richards crossed the finishing line in 3.20.14.
For Neil, who is also one of Aberystwyth AC’s coaches, it was a record-breaking day, as he beat his previous best half marathon time by almost six minutes.
He said: “Me and Lynsey really like the running races at Chester even though the courses are never as flat as advertised.
“I was very pleasantly surprised at my time at Chester and look forward to seeing what time I can do later in the year at the Cardiff Half.”
If you would like to hear more about Aberystwyth Athletic Club and join in its activities visit aberystwythac.wordpress.com or find the club on Facebook.
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